GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Dante Fowler Jr. knows he's not going to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, but he expects his name to be the third one called on April 30 in Chicago.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive end said he'd be surprised if the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't make him their first-round pick because he says he's a perfect fit for coach Gus Bradley's defensive scheme.
"I'd be stunned, just because of the scheme that Coach Gus has," Fowler said Tuesday afternoon following the completion of the University of Florida's pro day at Florida Field. "I feel like as far as him being on the multiple side, 4-3 and the 3-4, I can set the edge and I can come off the edge standing up.
"I'll be surprised [if the Jaguars don't draft him], but that's how the draft goes. I'm just happy that I'm getting drafted and I'm getting drafted on the first day."
Fowler is a perfect fit for the Jaguars' leo spot, which is a hybrid end/linebacker whose main responsibility is rushing the passer, because that's what he did during his three seasons at Florida. He played multiple spots, rushing as an end and dropping into coverage as an outside linebacker. He had 8.5 sacks in 2014 and finished with 14.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in his career. He had 25.5 tackles for loss in his final two seasons.
Fowler headed to Jacksonville shortly after his workout to be part of the team's group visit of players that includes linebacker Vic Beasley, running back Melvin Gordon, defensive end Leonard Williams, and receiver Amari Cooper. He also has visits scheduled with the Tennessee Titans (Wednesday), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Friday) and Atlanta Falcons (Sunday).
Fowler also knows where he'll be on April 30: in Chicago for the draft's first round. Marcus Mariota isn't attending and Jameis Winston said last week that he's unsure if he'll attend, which means Fowler could be the first player to step onto the stage with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"I actually just got invited last weekend," Fowler said. "That's something I always watched growing up. It's a dream come true ... I'm going to be there.
"That would be great if Jameis and Marcus aren't there. I'll feel like I'm the first guy taken in the draft because I'm going to be on the stage first. Whatever pans out, I'm just happy to be there, to be in that environment, to be a part of the first draft in Chicago. It's something special."
Fowler said he approached his pro day with a chip on his shoulder, which is hard to understand since he's considered one of the top two defensive players in the draft. He tried to explain why.
"Because I didn't make it yet, you know?" Fowler said. "I didn't even get my name called and I didn't play a down in the NFL yet and I want to show those guys that I'm here. When I say I'm here, I'm here to stay for a little minute and I want to show those guys that I'm coming in and I want to make a big impact and I want to make a name for myself."
Fowler didn't run the 40-yard dash on Tuesday -- he's staying on the 4.6 he ran at the NFL combine -- but he did participate in defensive end and linebacker drills because he wanted to show off his athleticism and ability to play in coverage.